An excellent quotation tool for logistics services is a crucial part of an effective sales organization. Without such a tool, it is nearly impossible to quickly produce detailed and accurate quotes whenever your customers request one. These issues are even more amplified when multiple customers are requesting quotes at the same time.
This article will describe the six must-have features of a quotation tool for logistics services. But first, let's understand what it is and its importance.
It is a tool that allows freight brokers, freight forwarders, and/or 3PLs to create and send quotations for their logistics services to their leads and customers. The quote usually includes pickup and delivery points, modes of transportation, estimated costs, and other details.
The time between a customer requesting a quote and receiving it can make all the difference between winning or losing a quote. A quotation tool for logistics services enables you to create a detailed and accurate quote within a few minutes that otherwise could take hours. It improves your sales productivity and boosts customer retention.
If you create and send a quote within the same day of request, there's a 75% chance of winning it.
Now that you have understood the importance of a quotation tool for logistics services, let's look at the six must-have features of a quotation tool.
Customers often request quotes for multiple services from logistics providers. Therefore, you need a logistics quotation tool that can create one aggregated quote with all transport modes and logistics services, including inland, ocean, air, and warehousing, requested by your customer. Sending a simplified quote to your customer can increase your sales conversion.
To fulfill your customers' requirements, you need a logistics quotation tool that allows you to create multiple lanes across different modes of transportation. Creating multiple lanes for FTL, LTL, IM, etc., in a single quote enables you to provide your customers with all their requirements in one place. Moreover, it will be helpful if this feature allows you to specify all the details within the quote, like equipment, commodity, cargo value, total distance, etc.
Another must-have feature of a quotation tool for logistics services is that you should be able to enter all the specific details for every lane. These details include:
It includes essential details of your cargo, such as equipment, the type of commodity (paper, food, beverages, etc.), temperature requirements, number of pieces, package types, weight, etc.
It allows you to enter the details of the routes to complete the shipment. It includes complete addresses of the origin and destination, the number of stops, and the entire shipping schedule (shipping date, estimated transit time, etc.)
This section allows you to add specific services required by a customer. Accessorial examples are 2nd-day delivery, 3-5 days delivery, advance, etc.
This section lets you define all the charges and margins related to your logistics services. Moreover, it will be helpful if your logistics quoting tool has an additional feature that allows you to check historical profit margin data of won lanes per customer. This enables you to create lanes with the right margins that can help increase your chances of winning.
A logistics quotation tool should have a comment section to leave additional comments for your customers.
Once you have created a detailed quote, a quotation tool for logistics services should allow you to track activities related to that quote. For example, you should be able to track emails, calls, and meetings regarding a quote.
This functionality allows you to quickly go back and understand a quote's current status and history. Moreover, this feature enables other team members to view a quote and its related activities since communications are not confined to a salesperson's inbox or mind. This also solves miscommunication since activities are recorded in a centralized application.
It would also be helpful if this feature allows you to create tasks that will be reflected on your logistics sales dashboard, so you don't miss critical follow-ups.
An intelligent quoting assistant will make a quotation tool for logistics services stand out among others. This feature should provide you with real-time market prices according to the lane information entered and the market conditions for that specific lane. This helps you understand your current cost structure that might change daily/hourly depending on market dynamics. Additionally, having this information within your quoting tool saves time since you are not switching from one app to another.
An intelligent quoting assistant will also be helpful if it provides the right margins that let you win lanes at the highest possible profit.
An excellent quotation tool for logistics services should be able to generate a professional quote. It should be an appropriately formatted document with all the detailed information your customer needs. It will also be helpful if it allows you to create a summary of the detailed quote, so your customer can get crucial details upfront when requested.
As the article shows, a specialized logistics quotation tool can help you win more lanes, grow revenues, and retain customers. It helps by allowing you to send professional and detailed logistics quotes in a few minutes. When picking a quoting tool, make sure to have the features mentioned in this article in mind.
If you want to have these quoting features readily available on your CRM, look at this CRM + quoting tool for 3PLs.
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